Aug 132014

Aerial photo of Old Linn Creek before being flooded by Lake of the Ozarks(click to enlarge)

8 x 10 press photo captioned “Move Entire Town to Make Room for World’s Largest Artificial Lake”
(photo credit: ACME)

This press photo dated March 26, 1931 shows what remained of the soon-to-be-covered-with-forty-feet-of-water town of Linn Creek, once the seat of Camden County, Missouri. Many structures had been torn down in this town that was once home to 500+ residents. Some  buildings were moved to the new Linn Creek a few miles away on higher ground. A new county seat was built – Camdenton, Missouri.

There is quite a literature about towns drowned by reservoirs. You can Google “drowned towns” or follow the links below:

Or – for a world view:

The movie Deliverance, based on the novel by James Dickey, is of course about a river about to be impounded. Near the end of the movie there are shots of a church being moved out of the basin.

But back to old Linn Creek – Our assumption was that what they didn’t tear down or move, they burned. Considerable expense was incurred clearing the trees out of the basin for Lake of the Ozarks, but as this photo shows, they didn’t get them all. Timber removal was a surprising percentage of the cost of the whole project. There was some tension between the crews hired to clear the timber and anti-dam residents when the crews ate at the restaurants and used the stores and filling stations of the town.  People in Linn Creek were pretty much against the dam – a sentiment led by J. W. Vincent, editor of the Linn Creek Reveille.

There are a lot of aerial photos of the dam under construction and as the lake filled – but not so many of the demise of Linn Creek.


  2 Responses to “OLD LINN CREEK – before the ‘flood’”

  1. I need to know what Linn Creek was like in 1939. Was this the Old Linn Creek, or was it the New Linn Creek? Also, what was the population in that year? and How far was it and in which direction to Springfield. I Know that Milton Newman Bunker born in 1892 was living there in `1939. I am interested to know if he or his family were residents and who they were, names and how many. Tall request I know, but I appreciate your help if you know the answers to these questions or have links that could answer these questions.

    • This photo of old Linn Creek is from 1931 – right before the water covered the town. Old Linn Creek was underwater in 1939. New Linn Creek has never had a population of more than several hundred. I Googled Milton Newman Bunker and searched but found no connection between him and Linn Creek. I did find numerous references in the press to his connection with handwriting analysis (Graphoanalysis) which he apparently invented. Mr. Bunker was “a shorthand expert, chiropractor and founder of the International Graphological Society.” I could find no detailed biographical information. Linn Creek is about 100 miles north and slightly east of Springfield.
      A good place to start your research would be the Camden County Historical Society in new Linn Creek: 573-873-2990

Leave a Reply